“Anyone can cope with prosperity. Handling adversity with grace, on the other hand, impresses people — for life.” Anonymous
People are watching you. Yep. I’m sorry to say, this situation is like a time when you’re having a really, really bad hair day, and all the people you know are suddenly taking your picture. All those “sermons” you’ve preached are now being graded. I hated that. During my divorce, all of those admonitions to my children to “just do the right thing and leave the results to God” were put to the test. All those trips to Sunday school and church or mass or the temple are suddenly being tested in the laboratory of real life. Do you really believe those things you heard and studied and professed? Did you say, “Amen” to the prayers, and did you fill in the blanks in the sermon outlines that reinforced the idea that God loves us more than we can even imagine and that our job is to love him with all we are and to love others as we love ourselves? What are people seeing now? Now that the going is tough, and “adversity” doesn’t even begin to describe the heartache and desolation you feel? All I can say, as hard as it is to face, is that you are impressing the people around you one way or another … for life. You can give skin to all of those lessons you heard as you sat in the pews or in a Bible Study class. You can teach the most powerful lessons of your life right now. Today. By your graciousness. Your grace. Your teaching of the lessons that life is incredibly good; that we can stand firmly on the solid ground of the law of sowing and reaping; that our job (and our joy) is to live with holiness and grace even under the most trying circumstances … especially under the most trying circumstances. If we do that, the pictures people take will reveal the beauty of integrity and honor and blessing to everyone who looks at them today and years and years later. This is your big chance to make a real difference. This time of year is a perfect time to shine like you mean it. Your life will end up as a billboard with blinking lights for those you in your realm of influence.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37: 5,6 (NIV)